Leadership is Calling Episode #45
Barbara Schindler and Heather McGonigal

From Chaos to Clarity: How Mapping Your Team’s Flow Fuels Success

“Org charts keep team members aligned on workflow, responsibilities, and roles.” – Barbara

Is your team aligned on workflow and responsibilities? Functional org charts provide teams with a clear roadmap to optimize workflow, responsibilities, and results.

In this video, leadership experts Barbara Schindler and Heather McGonigal share insights from their business leadership coaching experience to reveal:

  • Why traditional org charts often fail
  • The surprising secret to aligning roles, responsibilities, and paychecks
  • Actionable steps to build a functional org chart that drives results
  • Case studies: how leaders leveraged the power of functional org charts for:  Boosting team productivity and morale
  • Ensuring fair and competitive compensation ⚖️
  • Empowering team members to reach their full potential

Whether you’re a startup founder, established leader, or HR professional, this video provides actionable strategies to unlock team clarity, boost morale, and finally win the compensation game!

Key Points
  • Functional org charts map how a team operates to achieve goals
  • They provide clarity on responsibilities, workflow, and roles
  • Org charts are living documents that evolve with a business
  • They help inform compensation, hiring, and resourcing decisions
  • Org charts keep team members aligned on workflow and responsibilitie
Related Resources

Leadership Skills: The Business Part
Leadership Development Articles: High Performance Teams Need Role Clarity  |  Four Principles that Bring your Org Chart to Life!
Downloadable Leadership Tool: How to Hire ‘A’ Players eGuide 

Cartoon Org Chart - Four Principles that Bring your Organizational Chart to Life! Leading Edge Teams

Auto-Generated Transcript – unedited version

From Chaos to Clarity: How Mapping Your Team’s Flow Fuels Success


Barbara, I have a question for you. Okay, I’m grateful I have you to ask this question because I was supporting a client who is thinking about having a compensation conversation, figuring out where they’ve grown to in their role and how to communicate about that. And in support of them in coaching, what I’ve uncovered is I’m not even sure they have an org chart. And if they do, maybe one or two people know about it, but it isn’t something the team knows about, you know, relates to. 

And so I see that as kind of one of the first hurdles we have to resolve to really help the company and ultimately help the person I’m coaching. I love that stuff. You know, I’m… Yeah, I like talking about functional org charts. They are an essential roadmap to how your team is functioning to operate together as a team to achieve outcomes. And it’s a it’s a living structure that can change over time quickly and sometimes more slowly, depending on the stage of business you’re at, because how you’re functioning and what results you’re going for and what you’re emphasizing within your team meeting the needs of your clients or the needs of the business when the needs of the team itself. 

This is going to be ever changing as well. But you want to keep solidifying. And you know, they may have a chart, but a functional org chart is one of the things that we always ask the leading edge teams because we meet a lot of companies that have charts, but they’re not necessarily really laying the groundwork. So we can see how this organization functions and whether it’s a small startup or a more complex we’ll call a stage two, Stage three, or I think you’re the client, you’re working with now is kind of a stage four, well-structured with lots of layers of leadership, right? 

You still need this essential piece. So when we talk about compensation requests, we often talk about, you know, is there compensation meeting the current market value? Right. Because we need to stay competitive and attract good talent and keep good talent in our companies. So we need to be that. Has she taken on more responsibilities for the outcomes or for within the organization in some way? Has she developed a greater level of skills or new skills that contribute differently? 

And I’m just going to throw it in there then it’s like, and where does this all fit? Whatever this particular person’s doing in the organization, how do you know how we’re getting things done and can we get that more and more defined into a role? And that functional org chart gives us the clarity to find a role. And we’re working right now with one of the clients we’re working with in our private client work and working through a restructure that really had to change the whole way they were approaching how their leadership works, which really is how they were functioning as a team, doing a lot more focus on people doing tasks versus having responsibilities for outcomes and specific responsibilities that gave them a role clarity.

So in that process of this changeover, you know, there’s a lot of mindset and behavior changes to think of how each person functions and so it’s just been interesting how we sort of drafted, you know, kind of a functional org chart and people say, well, I do this. And we started putting people in their lane more. This is a marketing lane. This is a program delivery lane. Here’s an operation or tech, right? Starting to sort that out. 

And what’s beautifully happening now as people are working in this process, that they’re starting to get a clear sense of their main responsibilities. Yes, I love this because, you know, it blew me away that this client isn’t even sure if this very large company has a norm chart and tells me that they don’t relate to it like an active document that shows us how the organization operates. 

Because I have, on the other hand, like a long term client of ours who I have, someone whose team knows exactly where the org chart is posted and they actually look at it on an ongoing basis because this leader has a lot of freelancers that do work. And so they look at it to see who I go to for what and write and like. And I think that’s the thing that a functional org chart really helps. 

And when you’re mapping it out, if there’s gaps, you’ll be able to see it. If you’re talking about like, what do we actually do, how do we actually function? What what is, how are we using these human resources every day if we have a different kind of conversation and map out the picture with a functional org chart, it gives us a lot of helpful information, who to go to for what, how we actually operate, the roles that we may need to hire for right. How are we going to resource this new project, right? Like we can. It’s a map of resources. 

And another thing that people approach, often when they’re thinking of org charts, they make them people centric versus right. And so we want to really keep, you know, what functions do we need in our marketing team for our marketing projects and strategies this year, you know, rather than, hey, we’ve got, you know, these three people and they’re in our marketing department, this one’s doing this and doing that, and somebody else can do this. That takes away from the functionality that meets the business needs. 

We want to keep backing that up and then we put the people in and start forming what makes sense in the role based on their skills, the priorities of tasks that need to be done in that functional way. So it’s such a rich roadmap. And yeah, it is shocking. And you know, I’m sure they have some kind of structure, but the fact that somebody doesn’t know that on the team tells exactly what you’re saying, that they’re not relating to this as an essential tool for all kinds of ways. We’re doing our work together and making decisions and so forth. Right. 

So I love that. I know that we often say always go back to the OR chart, but, you know, this is this is something that we have more in-depth teaching on in our program, but we wanted to share with everybody because as like the person I’m talking about that I’m coaching, this is an individual thinking about their role and their compensation. But everything can really go back to the org chart. You have to anchor it in that picture because that picture is anchored in the business needs today and also where we’re going. And so if you’re thinking about your own part of that, where does it fit in that picture? And not just as you said, Barbara, like one name with one title in a box. That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about something different. 

Yeah, it really tells the story about the team. And so definitely, you know, give this some thought and your own teams and your own roles and do you know the story of the team and how it operates in your organization? That would be something we’d love to hear back from people about, too, and see how’s that going for you? 

Yeah, thanks so much. 

Yeah, I love that topic.

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